The Importance of Pharmaceutical-Grade Fish Oils
The omega-3 essential dietary fats have been receiving a lot of publicity recently. Every health-food shop and most chemists are displaying large bottles containing up to 200 clear capsules of fish oil -rich in omega-3 ‘essential fatty acids’. With free information brochures outlining their many benefits.
How important are these oils?....Do we really need to include a supplement in our diet? …. Do children need them too?
Essential ‘fatty acids’
(or ‘fats’) are just that: they are essential ingredients of our daily diet. Your body cannot make them for itself. They are required every day to perform many different functions in your and your child’s body. There are two types of essential fats: omega-3 and omega-6. The ideal ratio in your diet should be 2-3 to 1 omega-3 to omega-6 fats.
Unfortunately, most of us are getting way too much omega-6 fats in our diet. These are found in vegetable oils, cooking oils, meats, margarine, etc. Whereas rich sources of omega-3 fats are limited to cold-water fish, flax and pumpkin seeds. This imbalance has two results. First, there are usually not enough of the omega-3 fats to perform their important functions, and, secondly, the excessive amounts of omega-6 actually reverses the beneficial effects of the omega-3.
What exactly are these beneficial effects?
First and foremost, your brain is made up of mostly DHA, the omega-3 fat that is found in fish oil. A shortage of DHA causes inevitable brain degeneration, which may lead to Alzheimer's disease in adults and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children.
Omega-3 fats also act in the body to produce chemical messengers called ‘prostaglandins’, which protect us from developing breast cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer.
The benefits continue with prevention of cardiovascular disease, adult-onset diabetes, some skin diseases and rheumatoid arthritis.
It is vital that you and your child include omega-3 fats in your diet every day. This will ensure normal, healthy growth and development, as well as protection against degenerative diseases later in life.
As dietary sources of omega-3 fats are limited, a good policy is to take a daily supplement. Fish oils are the best choice. These oils are extracted from large cold-water fish (such as salmon, mackerel, herring or halibut), which are high up on the food chain. This means that they are bound to be contaminated with heavy metals (e.g. mercury), pesticides and other environmental contaminants.
The only way to deal with this is for the oil to be purified by a process called ‘molecular distillation’. This will remove all of the contaminants, including mercury, to produce a PHARMACEUTICAL GRADE fish oil supplement.
This process, while necessary, also adds to the cost. Therefore you should look for a supplement that states on the label that it is pharmaceutical grade, guaranteed pure, without any contamination. (Article writen by Tony Reid. DTCM, DAc, CCP, MAACMA)
Tips: Omega-3 has been noted for its ability to assist with unruly behaviour in children.
Remember: It is advisable to take a regular dose of Omega-3 throughout our lives to inhance our health and the health of our children.
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Disclaimer: Article on our website are for education purposes only. Please consult with your doctor to make sure this information is right for your child.